Graffiti Charges Against Yoshitomo Nara Officially Dropped
Yoshitomo Nara, a multimillionaire pop artist, was arrested in February when cops spotted him drawing a smiley face on the wall of the First Avenue L-train stop with a marker in the wee hours of the morning. The art sensation, whose works of doe-eyed cartoonish children have sold for as much as $1.5 million, was given an adjournment in contemplation after being charged with making graffiti and criminal mischief and spending the night in jail.
That meant if he kept his nose clean for six months, the charges would be dropped—which they were yesterday. “This case in now officially over,” said his lawyer, Guy Oksenhendler.
The incident happened on the eve of the opening for an exhibit of his work at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in Chelsea. The forty-nine-year-old, who lives in Tochigi, Japan, called the arrest “a nice experience in my life,” in which he got to meet people he would not otherwise have encountered.
“Like in the movies,” he told Art in America magazine.
The always cash-strapped Metropolitan Transit Authority missed an opportunity to make some money off the incident—their efficient employees wiped the graffiti off the wall. It's been estimated the brick it was on could have been sold for ten thousand dollars.